Essay 1

Submitted By hardtoget21
Words: 1077
Pages: 5

Majoritarianism v. Pluralism
Joel Lopez Throughout the course of history in the United States a debate has waged on between the Majoritarian Model and the Pluralist Model of governing the land. Some would say that the majoritarian model can be connected similarly to what the classic stereotypical democracy looks like; with the pluralist model being developed in order to give reason for how democracy would still be functional with limited mass political interest and/or participation. In short, a majoritarianism states that what the majority of the people want is what they are entitled to get. While a pluralism model is a government that is dominated by groups rather than the people. While both majoritarianism and pluralism can be considered to be under the umbrella of democracy both are vastly different in their political philosophy. "When political leaders respond to the policy desires of the majority, the result is majoritarianism" ( We the People, 19 ). A majoritarianism model of government is one that is ruled by the people. Majoritarianism is the classic textbook version of democracy where what the people want is what the people get. For America majoritarianism is mainly the battle ground between Democratic and Republican parties. It is called majoritarianism due to the way officials and interests are selected by a majority of the people. Our textbook does state that "..majoritarianism has its limits. The public as a whole takes an interest in only a few of the hundreds of policy decisions" ( We the People, 19 ). This issue of the people not being concerned with all issues that take place in our country can create a void in some areas that lead to a lack of voting; therefore possible misrepresentation of what the people want. The media can also play a large role in the majoritarianism model due to lack of factual knowledge about our government. The news does not give much factual information on topics rather focusing on Pros versus Cons, and what is likely to happen. The media, depending on whether or not they are partisan, can lead the viewer to believe one thing over the other. This can also skew what "the people" would like to see happen, due to the fact that they are voting for things they could potentially be misinformed about. Majoritarianism has can also lead to politicians to do things that look good to the people. First and foremost a politicians job is to be re-elected at the end of his or her term. This could cause politicians to do something that could be detrimental or have a negative outcome simply because it is what he or she believes the people want to see. Also coupled with the people only being concerned with the few issues out of the many leads to mass voting. This leads to what we discussed in class involving people voting irrationally, when people are on concerned and willing to vote on such few issues it is very unlikely that your vote will be able to affect the outcome; about the same odds as being able to pass through a wall, or so our professor tells us. This can also open the door for the few people who are concerned with all the issues to be able to take place in rational voting. With the issues that the people are not concerned they will not vote on, the few who are concerned then possibly can vote rationally and have an impact on the outcome of the election. While majoritarianism is the traditional view of democracy "Some political scientists, like Yale's Robert Dahl, argue that democracies more often operate as pluralistic systems than a majoritarian systems. Our textbook states "Pluralism holds that, on most issues, the preferences of the special interest largely determines what government does" ( We the People, 20 ). Pluralism assumes that in our society the people will often form groups consisting of similar traits and qualities such as economics, religion, and/or their cultures. This is where interest groups come into play, "An interest group - also called a "faction," "pressure